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Thread: Dorm Rooms at Hogwarts

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    Dorm Rooms at Hogwarts

    Side note, I will be referring to discussion on this topic about the number of students that attend Hogwarts since it is what got my mind thinking about this.

    I have been giving a lot of thought to the set-up of Hogwarts, and while reading the wonderful discussion on the previously mentioned topic, it got me thinking, "How conceivable is it that there are more than just fourteen dorm rooms, seven for boy and seven for girls, for each House?"

    It's been well-established, in my opinion, that there can't be exactly five boys and five girls for each House every year, but perhaps that is simply how many fit in a dorm. I suppose it could make sense that the rooms expand and shrink depending on how many students need to sleep there, but even in the Magical world, you can only expect so many teenagers to share a single sleeping area.

    As discussed more in the previous topic, Harry's class may have been exceptionally small for a large school which normally has thousands of students, but this idea can work for or against that idea. If Harry's class was tiny because of the war but other years are larger, especially if this is the Magical equivalent of the Baby Boomers, then there could be over ten people in one room. For the sake of everyone's sanity, it would make sense to split them in half.

    Then again, if Harry's class size was actually of the norm, this idea could make up for some obviously missing students. Maybe the reason Hermione seemed to only have two roommates was because there was another dorm of Gryffindor girls in her year.

    This would also help to manage a larger body of students to come long after the Trio has left Hogwarts. If the first defeat of Voldemort didn't cause a Baby Boom, then surely the second and final one will. This is especially important for Next Gen fics where the (plausibly second) Baby Boom kids will be attending Hogwarts. Especially with prejudice against Slytherin House, the other three Houses could experience an increase of members. If Hogwarts accepts about sixty students every year (basing off Harry's year having a small student body of around forty or so), and say about six go to Slytherin, the other Houses could expect about eighteen students each. In my mind, at least, instead of jamming nine students into one dorm room, why not split them into five and four? Even if the number is split evenly among all four Houses, that's still seven or eight people in one dorm. Considering the largest number of people sharing a dorm in the books is five, that's a lot of teenagers in one room.

    (Or maybe this idea is glaringly American and the British are a lot more comfortable with sharing sleeping quarters...)

    As far as I know of my Canon knowledge (which isn't as fantastically thorough as I know other's are), JKR never states that there is only one dorm for each year's genders. This is just an idea that could help solve the discrepancy between Hogwarts having 'thousands of students' but only eight Gryffindor students in 1991. I would love thoughts on this proposal, so please let me know how believable multiple dorms are at Hogwarts.

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    In canon, actually it's in PoA, the number of students is mentioned. When Gryffindor play Slytherin in the Quidditch final, it is mentioned that three-quarters of the crowd were supporting Gryffindor by waving rosettes, wearing red and gold - etc. In the next sentence it states that behind the Slytherin goal, two-hundred people were wearing green - ie: the Slytherins.

    So, the amount of students at Hogwarts is around the eight-hundred mark. This means there should be around the one-hundred plus mark of students per year.

    All this causes a problem when discussion dorm size and/or missing students. There are various reasons to say that there were five girls in Hermione's dorm, and ten students in Gryffindor. One is the POA Defence class against the Boggart, where there are two unexpected 'cracks' and Boggart change can't be attributed to a known student. In addition in book 1, Madam Hooch has lined up twenty brooms for her first flying lesson. Ten Gryffindors, and ten Slytherins.

    These fact of the student body being at least eight hundred, doesn't therefore correspond with the amount of known or inferred students. And it's always seemed to me to be especially crass that if they're putting classes together, that Draco and his cohorts sharing classes with Harry, Ron and Hermione if they could have shared with different Gryffs/Slyths. Harry's year could have been exceptionally small, which does lend itself to the idea of having to share classes.. Perhaps the Prophecy was more widely known and no one wanted to risk having a July baby - ha ha.

    I do think multiple dorms are a possibility. It has to be more likely that every year having 40 students who neatly sort themselves into each house.

    EDIT:
    (Or maybe this idea is glaringly American and the British are a lot more comfortable with sharing sleeping quarters...)
    Well the boys Boarding school I lived opposite when growing up had multiple sized dorms. Some were for two, or four, but there were others that held around ten - especially for the younger boys.



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    Honestly, to me, this seems to be a bit of a question of which bit of canon do you take to be true. It's hard to reconcile the conflicting ideas of a student population of 800 and yet 10 Gryffindors and 10 Slytherins in one year being all that's shown. Though, yes, there could just have been very few students born that particular year, for one reason or another. Maybe the desperation has gone from 'let's have a life while we can' rushing into marrying to 'this is so hopeless I don't want to bring a kid into it' - Voldemort's reign of terror, by the time of Harry's birth, has been going on for about ten years, actually (someone in chapter one of PS/SS says there's been precious little to celebrate for eleven years).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick View Post
    In canon, actually it's in PoA, the number of students is mentioned. When Gryffindor play Slytherin in the Quidditch final, it is mentioned that three-quarters of the crowd were supporting Gryffindor by waving rosettes, wearing red and gold - etc. In the next sentence it states that behind the Slytherin goal, two-hundred people were wearing green - ie: the Slytherins.

    So, the amount of students at Hogwarts is around the eight-hundred mark. This means there should be around the one-hundred plus mark of students per year.
    Thank you for pointing out this scene; I've often read people referring to 800 students, but I never knew from where they were getting that bit of Canon.

    Taking this into consideration, if Harry's class was small with only about ten students in each House that year, then the other years (most likely the following years) would have more then the average 28 students. Assuming that the war decreased the student bodies of years preceding Harry's (since I doubt people are having tons of kids during the first war), then that would be then the younger years could potentially have over 30 students in each House each year. That would mean a little less then twenty students in one room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick View Post
    Well the boys Boarding school I lived opposite when growing up had multiple sized dorms. Some were for two, or four, but there were others that held around ten - especially for the younger boys.
    Most American boarding schools are set up very similarly; most dorms are for two but there are quite a few triples and quads spread through the mix as well. The same goes for University. However, I don't think I've eve heard of a place putting ten people together, but I could see this as being okay for the younger kids. Older? Personally, I wouldn't be bothered by it, but I know people who cringe at the thought of sharing a room with more than one person, let alone nine other persons.

    Also, I wonder what the limitations are on architecture magic. We've seen tents that are much larger on the inside than the outside, but the Weasleys had to keep building rooms on top of each other instead of just placing a spell on the rooms to make them more spacious. If Hogwarts does have a varying amount of students each year, the rooms could be charmed to adjust to the size needed, making ten students in one dorm room a non-issue. But I wonder if the rooms can only be expanded so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by minnabird View Post
    Honestly, to me, this seems to be a bit of a question of which bit of canon do you take to be true. It's hard to reconcile the conflicting ideas of a student population of 800 and yet 10 Gryffindors and 10 Slytherins in one year being all that's shown. Though, yes, there could just have been very few students born that particular year, for one reason or another. Maybe the desperation has gone from 'let's have a life while we can' rushing into marrying to 'this is so hopeless I don't want to bring a kid into it' - Voldemort's reign of terror, by the time of Harry's birth, has been going on for about ten years, actually (someone in chapter one of PS/SS says there's been precious little to celebrate for eleven years).
    I think this backs up a point I stated above about how the years ahead of Harry were most likely small as well because of the war but years following Harry might have been unusually large because of a magical baby boom. I'm assuming this is correct, so the 800 students inferred to in PoA, where only one class is assumed to be unusually large with the other six most likely particular tiny, 800 could be a small number for Hogwarts compared to the rest of the school's history.

    One last issue to think about, considering the school has been around for thousands of years, would it make sense to have multiple dorms in the Founder's Era? I'll have to dig up some research on that time period, but until then, what do other people know of Medieval times and how they felt about sharing bed rooms?

  5. #5
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    what do other people know of Medieval times and how they felt about sharing bed rooms?
    I can PM you a link if you like, but it looks like most of the people in a castle sleeping on the floor in the great hall was pretty common :P

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